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Musicians, singers, dancers part of event in Charlottetown on Nov. 17

Mary MacGillivray and Dr. Cian O Morain  will perform at the variety show at the Irish Hall Saturday evening.
Mary MacGillivray and Dr. Cian O Morain will perform at the variety show at the Irish Hall Saturday evening. - Contributed

The Benevolent Irish Society is reviving a long-standing tradition and hosting a third variety show on Saturday, Nov. 17, 7:30 p.m., at the Irish Cultural Centre in Charlottetown featuring musicians, step dancers and singers.

The event is hosted by Patrick Fitzgerald, the BIS president, along with Dr. Cian O Morain.

The BIS is again partnering with Holland College School of Performing Arts with six students from the college performing in the show. Students in the music performance program at Holland College’s School of Performing Arts study Celtic music as part of their curriculum. They learn about the history of the Celtic musical tradition in the classroom and they prepare and perform pieces in their Celtic ensembles.

The show will feature students from near and far, including Daniel Cambray (guitar and voice), Tuli Porcher (fiddle), Jesse Periard (guitar), Karson McKeown (guitar), Thompson Gammons (guitar) and Tre Sutherland (fiddle). Accompanying the students on concertina is Gormlaith Maynes, who is currently the Gaelic language instructor at UPEI and co-ordinator of Celtic and traditional music at Holland College.

UPEI Gaelic language instructor Gormlaith Maynes performs against a backdrop of her native Ireland.
UPEI Gaelic language instructor Gormlaith Maynes performs against a backdrop of her native Ireland.

O Morain hails from Country Kerry in Ireland but is now the family physician in North Rustico. As well, he holds a master’s degree in music from Limerick University. He and his partner, Mary McGillivray, often entertain local audiences and are favourites at the Irish Hall, accompanying their singing on keyboard, guitar and squeeze box. He will often add in a bit of Irish storytelling to the delight of an audience. MacGillivray, who is from the Island with strong Irish roots, accompanies herself on the squeeze box when she sings in both English and Gaelic.

Also performing is P.E.I. fiddler Sheila MacKenzie, who has had a successful solo career and has released a self-title CD. Her musical background covers genres from Celtic and country to folk and traditional. In 2006, she became the first female president of the P.E.I. Fiddlers' Society. She now plays mostly in a band called Treble with Girls.

Brian Byrne from Cork and Patrick Crehan from Tipperary (The Boys from Ireland) will bring their fresh, unique sound to the stage. The pair has been playing together since undertaking a B.A in Irish music and dance at the University of Limerick in 2016 and combined have played across Europe, Africa and soon North America. This will be their last performance at the BIS as they are returning to the University of Limerick at the end of November.

Step dancers are Bethany Pineau and Dominik Pineau from Roberts Academy of Dance. MacKenzie will be providing accompaniment for the dancers on the fiddle.

North Wilshire resident Glenda Ewing, formerly of Northern Ireland, will be performing for the first time at the Irish Hall, accompanied by Cian O Morain on keyboard.

There will be a 50/50 draw, and a light lunch is served at intermission. The Irish Cultural Centre is at 582 North River Rd. in Charlottetown. Doors open at 7. Admission is $15 at the door. Children 12 and under are $5. Everyone is welcome. For more information, call 902-314-8840.

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